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Fox & Anchor, Smithfield, EC1

115 Charterhouse Street
Phone: 02072501300

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about Fox & Anchor

A traditional looking pub located just around the corner from Smithfield Market, it was almost deserted on our recent bank holiday Monday visit, but I imagine can get very busy at other times when the market is open.

Internally, the main bar at the front of the pub is quite long and narrow with a long bar counter on the left and wooden boards on the floor. It had quite an elegant feel to it with black flock wallpaper on the upper part of the walls and dark wood panelling down below. There were plenty of pictures on the walls and some wooden partitions with mirrored glazing. Padded bench seating ran all along the right hand side. At the rear was a much cosier dining room with black tiling on the floor, and black wood panelling covering the walls. There were many more pictures here including old black and white photographs of the market and various livestock. A small tiled fireplace was off to one side, but this looked to be disused. Further private dining rooms were at the rear, with one having etched glass in the doors and being known as the Fox’s Lair.

The menu offered a decent enough selection of “pub grub” dishes and our gypsy eggs with a ham hock and chorizo stew as well as a cheese and tomato sandwich with chips both went down well.

Beers on tap were Sam Brook’s Wandle, Young’s Special, Young’s Bitter, Doom Bar, Proper Job and Redemption Big Chief. After that lot, cider choice was very disappointing with only Aspall’s on tap, and even that had run out. Overall, despite the lack of any cider, I thought this was a nice, traditional old pub and would happily return if in the area.

On 8th May 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1807 recommendations about 1731 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about Fox & Anchor

Really nice exterior and interior as described below. Not that big inside and the toilet must be fun when it’s busy.

On 26th October 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2824 recommendations about 2766 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Fox & Anchor

Established by at least the late 18th century, this pub was rebuilt in its somewhat extravagant form in 1898. Grade II-listed with an Art Nouveau terra cotta and glazed tile façade, it's one of the most ornate pubs in the EC1 area.
Indeed, the fine tiles extend to the narrow interior with dark wood including bar back and pot shelf though the French zinc-topped bar is modern as is the questionable tiled ceiling.
There are some tables to the walls and dining area to the rear in what is in fact quite a small venue. It also has somewhat inadequate lavs with just one urinal behind an American-style saloon bar doors and then just one cubicle.
Ales: the standard Young's line-up, thereafter guests from the likes of Sambrook's and Truman's, served well but typically at around the £5.05 a pint mark.
Worth a look for the interior, but it's not easy to get comfortable here so it's a bit of a one-pint pony. Expensive too.

On 8th June 2018 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1519 recommendations about 1497 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about Fox & Anchor

A must visit for the City Boy Breakfast. Served till 11am - think of a combo between a mixed grill and a Full English Breakfast. With a pint of Youngs Stout.

An experience that should be had by all :-)

Some photos at my walking blog -

On 7th February 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 968 recommendations about 960 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Fox & Anchor

An attractive pub with an art nouveau façade dating from 1898. There’s also a very attractive long and narrow interior (glazed tiling, dark wood etched glass – pseudo gin palace) but unfortunately I didn’t get to see too much of it as most of the tables were reserved (and woe betide you should you just park yourself down anyway and say “I’ll move as soon as they arrive”). Three ales on; Youngs Ordinary, Sambrooks Wandle and Stod Fold from Halifax, the latter of which was in decent shape (and not a pewter tankard in sight); a poor range given the riches listed in other reviews from a few short years ago. The Wild West bogs were of passing interest. I might go back at a quiet time but I wouldn’t be shouting this place as a destination beyond a quick gawp at the interior, it’s basically a restaurant in a nice building with a bar at the front.

On 21st April 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 4401 recommendations about 4387 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Fox & Anchor

This place as gone downhill in my view since my last visit a few years ago, still a good looking place as described previously but beerwise disappointing, six pumps with four beers available, Sambrookes Junction and Scrumdown plus Brains SA and Youngs Special, as I said disappointing.

On 1st April 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1567 recommendations about 1548 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Fox & Anchor

A very attractive Youngs pub, with a host of historic features stretching from the bow window in the tiny façade, through the distinctly narrow bar with its impressive gantried counter, and reaching the compact Fox's Den at the rear. Very traditional furniture and decor, retaining some etched glazing in places and areas of fine decorative tiling both inside and out. Also operates as a boutique hotel with six bedrooms. Four of six handpumps in operation on my latest visit, with Ordinary and the 'house' The Foxes Christmas Ale (£4.15) on tap plus Sambrooks Junction and Redemption Hopspur available as guests. Well worth seeking out.

On 4th December 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 7048 recommendations about 7048 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Fox & Anchor

Some excellent reviews below of this narrow but oppulent Victorian pub,a fine example of it's type.The area immediately on entering does retain some pub atmosphere with glazed tiling and a flatscreen,Sky Sports News sensibly on mute during my quiet afternoon visit.Interesting muzak played at a sensible volume was another plus point.The use of mirrors in the wooden dividers does break up the interior .If you get a chance to investigate The Fox's Den at the rear between food services take the opportunity,it's charming with several small alcolves with just enough room for a single table.A classy place for a meal,if that's what you want.I thought for London the food pricing wasn't over the top,starters around £6.50,mains generally £16.The silver baron of beef trolly might set you back more.However a scotch egg for £6.80 is taking liberties,pork pies at £4.50 look better value.
I came on the strength of the six handpumps which on my trip were dispensing Sambrooks Wandle,Ilkley Joshua Jane,St Peter's Golden Ale,Stringers Yellow Lorry,a house brew from Pin Up Brewery and Pixie Spring Tidy Bitter,well kept but an unexciting brew at the exciting price of £2.20 for a half.
I wasn't as lucky as previous reviewers on the ale selection but the interior is justification on it's own to pay a visit.It's a bit of Olde England.

On 29th January 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2355 recommendations about 2355 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Fox & Anchor

I didn't have this one picked out when on our crawl around the area. It was Mrs Ale who spotted this pub when walking past. Glad she did, as this is a splendid example of a late Victorian pub, formerly a gin palace. The exterior is very opulent and so too is the lavish interior. Prices here are top end, but nevertheless standards are high in quality. There were six ales on hand pump, we went for the Magic Red Simpleton. A top end pub that has HP sauce on the table, proper job!

On 10th January 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3092 recommendations about 3092 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Fox & Anchor

The main area is a long and narrow space with the bar along one side, all polished wood and what I took to be a pewter topped counter, carved back with mirrors and a central gantry with etched glass and the inscription "Pale Burton Ales". Seating opposite is mainly at padded upholstered benches with high backs, there is a row of stools at the bar which given the narrow layout would cause quite a bottleneck if used. The pub is opposite Smithfield market and the meat related theme runs into the food with pork pies, sausage rolls and scotch eggs (£6.50!) offered as bar snacks while the specials board had the rather heftier 600g Cote de Boeuf rocking up at £47.50 for two.
A set of cow horns sit high on a wall at the far end of the bar where there was also huge lidded silver serving trolley. The room is divided up by short screens with Champagne bottles on top, there are various framed photos of the market in full swing plus livestock pictures and looking upwards, the ceiling is very elaborate with raised inlaid sections.
At the back of the pub a series of small compact booths contain people mainly eating with table service.
The handpulled ale range was very good indeed, Black Jack The Pokies, Vale Emporer Ale, pub branded Fox and Anchor (by Pin Up), Loch Ness Red Ness (£4.20), Dark Star Darkness and ELB Orchid plus the Jake's cider. No usual suspects in that list.
Despite the rather high prices I really liked this pub, the beer quality and range were top notch, one glitch however, the toilet facilities, while seriously upmarket (there are flowers) are rather limited with just two cubicles provided, M&F, that will surely cause issues at busier times.

On 23rd October 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1694 recommendations about 1668 pubs]

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